Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
35 Reviews
Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 12-04-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
35
Ratings:
45
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
16.71%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 45
Photo of Weissenheimer
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pint comes with the medium-sized head that I'm coming to know well. It has that toasted, foamy, melted-marshmallowy look that says "Anchor OSA". The beer itself has a dark, brooding, not-quite-opaque ruby appearance which reminds me of Corsendonk Christmas Ale. My reaction to the smell is the same as it was when I sniffed the 2002: "Nice and spicy". It's mild and caramely.

The head lends this beer a lot of creaminess, and this leads into a strong coffee taste. I'm definitely tasting some of the molasses flavor of the 2002, but in this case it takes a back seat to the coffee. Also like the 2002, as I pay close attention to that coffee flavor I realize that it's actually halfway between coffee and raw black tea. The coffee is way too much for me, especially since it actually seems to get stronger as I drain the glass. I won't be having any more from 2000, although that reaction arises from my personal taste more than from the beer.

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Photo of Jables
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on my birthday Dec. 5, 2003

Pours a cloudy deep mahogany. Nice creamy head.

Aroma is sweet piney malts with some nice caramel notes.

The taste is smooth, smooth, smooth. A perfect balance of caramel and hops with piney flavors present throughout. The piney flavors are nice and subdued unlike the current edition of this brew. Flavor is perfect for this night with the first snow of the season. Does finish up with a nice subtle warming by alcohol.

Not a session beer by any means but the balance is exceptional. I have 4 more bottles to save till my next birthday.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff was much better than the 2002 version that I last tried. This is still a dark brown beer with a biege head and some nice aromas of spices, trees, and booze. This aged version is less tree-like in flavor and more barley-wine like. The mouthfeel seems thicker and the drinkability is definately better than the 2002 as well.

Nice stuff!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage: Tried Aug, 03
Dark opaque brown color. Lots of protein/ particulates had settled to the bottom of the bottle. Smells of burnt caramel, molasses, bitter herbs, slightly woody and a hint of smokiness too. Tastes lightly sweet, with a hint of oxidation, but this mixes quite well with the burnt caramel notes of the beer. Not as sharply spicy tasting as when I last tried this beer about 6 months ago (or when it was young). Very good still, in fact better than when it was fresh. Quite smooth with a brown malt taste. Tastes more like molasses than anything. Overall this is not nearly as sharp and objectionable as when it was new, the sharp bitter herbal taste is now in balance with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, medium head. Spicy aroma (piney, touch of spruce??) Roasted malts, nutmeg-ish. Full flavor, very complex. Interesting taste. Need to taste again after some bottle aging. Finish is a little harsh. Aftertaste is malty, slightly burnt malts. As usual this beer mellows with age.

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Photo of aaronh
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a robust, dense tan head that displays excellent retention for a 2 year old beer. Color appears to be a deep red chestnut hue. Almost stout-like in appearance, but presenting a hint of red color. The aroma is amazing. There is a noticable clove and nutmeg spiciness, paired with a raisin sweetness. Woody notes are also present, along with hints of chocolate and roasted malt. The taste is immediately nutty, bringing hazelnut and walnut to the foreground. Chocolate flavors are strong, as well a a great smokiness on the finish. The hops are are reserved but enjoyable. As I continue to sip, the flavor seems to change with the temperature, with hints of the following flavors appearing, then subsiding: black pepper, pine, alcohol, lightly sweet chocolate with a hint of plum, sweet cream (wow this was a nice taste that jumped in!), smoky cheddar?, and then the bitterness starts getting stronger, with more piney notes. This progression occurred over the period of about an hour. Once the bitterness started popping in, I finished it up quickly. Very minimal sweetness comes through on the flavor, much less than I anticipated. The mouthfeel is very solid, but has a definite astringency. While this beer is enjoyable, I would not drink a large number of them, nor could I drink it quickly due to the apparently high ABV. However, its unique charcteristics and wild array of flavors make this an enjoyable experience. Anchor Our Special Ale is becoming one of my favorite things about winter.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the first thing i did was smell this beer and feel immediately in love; the smell called to me to bring the beer to my lips similiar to a woman scented it an exsquisite perfume. The taste that i experienced from that first sip was similiar to a beautiful woman, full of many qualtities that came together in a exciting harmony. The smell is spicy, i noted some almost apple like scents. The taste is very complex but drinkable. No single taste property over powers the others. Again herbs and spices are notable in the base of what is almost like a heavy porter minus the chocolate and coffee properties. I can almost taste a feeling of winter with chestnuts, pine trees, and fallen oak leafs with each sip. Pours very little head but leaves a steady lace that is not all that thick. Very interesting beer, thoroughly enjoyable...I could see this paired very well with a shot of jagermeister for that extra kick of christmas cheer.
Will definetly try to get ahold of some 02's for this Christmas season.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This long-aged beauty pours with a long lasting tan head. Settles into a slightly murky brown, with red hightlights. Nose is musty, spicy. Gently carbonated mouthfeel, with diminished spiciness...maltiness is more emphasized, hoppiness is still present, slightly dry on the finish. Still a pleasure to drink!

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Photo of BKotch
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I laid down a six-pack of this in December 2000 and my only regret is that I didn't lay down more. A year's ageing has really mellowed and smoothed out the originally sharp flavors of pine/spruce, nutmeg and bitter chocolate. Still looks great, but the head has lost a little fluffiness and retention. Effervescence is also down, but, ohhh, the nose and palate . . . This beer demands a cold night and a fireplace. I hope the 2001 version lays down as well.

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Photo of Jason
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown fatty bottle with a freshness code of 0NB2 meaning November, 2 2000 I guess.

Appearance: Dark brown near black with a beige coloured lace that has great retetion.

Smell: Fresh baked gingered apple pie with caramel topping. Sweet to the nose ...

Taste: Smooth creamy mouthfeel, good flowing carbonation. Semi chewy mouth feel with quite a malty palate of sweet grain and chocolate undertones. Right away the mild evergreen like flavour kicks in and lingers wide and far with a sweet oily taste. The chocolate malt flavour punches though and flexes a bit to show this is still a beer. Alcohol is noticeable and warms the body. Residual chocolate / roasted malt flavours wrap up the finish.

Notes: This is Anchor's 26th Special Ale that is spiced with Torreya californica, more commonly know as California Nutmeg or the stinking cedar. Not a brew I would want to quaff down though it is a beer I would love to end the night with. Roughly $10 a six pack, savour this brew all winter long.

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Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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